Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (15363)

AJ Allmendinger, driver of the No. 22 car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has been suspended indefinitely from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.

On July 24,Allmendinger was found to have violated Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing) and 19 (NASCAR’s substance abuse policy) of the 2012 NASCAR rule book.

As outlined in the rule book, NASCAR next will provide Allmendinger a letter outlining a process for reinstatement. By agreeing to the letter, he will be allowed to participate in the Road to Recovery Program.


In accordance with NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy, Penske Racing was notified today of AJ Allmendinger’s positive B sample test.  We respect NASCAR’s policy and the process they have taken with this matter.

Penske Racing is very disappointed with the result of the B sample test and will evaluate its course of action as it pertains to AJ over the coming week.

Sam Hornish Jr., will drive the No. 22 Dodge Charger this weekend at Indianapolis and next weekend at Pocono


Shell and Pennzoil believe that the process and procedures that NASCAR has in place as part of their substance abuse policy are appropriate and serve to ensure that the sport and its participants are held to the highest standards.

We share Penske Racing’s disappointment with the result of AJ’s (Allmendinger) B sample test and will work closely with them to determine plans moving forward.  We hope for the best for AJ during this difficult time.


Aegis Analytical Laboratories in Nashville has delivered the results of the “B” sample test for
Penske Racing driver AJ Allmendinger, which confirmed the results of  the “A” test.

“This was not the news we wanted to hear and we will work to get to the source of what may have caused this. To that end, we have secured the services of an independent lab to conduct thorough testing on every product within AJ’s home and motor coach to find what might collaborate with his test, which created results that  were within nanograms  of  accepted standards. We are working closely with NASCAR and Penske Racing to identify the next action steps in this process.  We continue to be extremely grateful by the breadth and scope of support for AJ from his fans and partners. We would like to again thank NASCAR, Penske Racing and all our sponsor partners for the open communication, and for helping us at every step in this process. We expect to have further updates in the upcoming days.”

Respecting History

24 Jul 2012 Written by

The opportunity to be a spectator at any major sporting event can be an awe-inspiring occasion. Surrounded by tens of thousands of like-minded fans cheering for a common goal creates an adrenaline-filled experience for competitors and spectators alike. Elite sporting events such as the Super Bowl and the World Series inspire an even more electric atmosphere for the simple reason that they are historic.

Now, take that major sporting event and place it on the hallowed grounds of one of the nation’s most revered venues and the atmosphere becomes more than just a game, but also a moment in time. While a handful of such venues have gone to the wayside, many of the nation’s older venues continue to thrive in today’s sports world. A simple Google search yields a variety of top lists featuring some of the nation’s most storied locations. From Wrigley Field in Chicago and Fenway Park in Boston to Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., and Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., these historic sites could be considered national landmarks for what they have meant to sports history and the competitive landscape that fans know today.

Certainly a fixture in most all listings of top-10 historic sports venues is Indianapolis Motor Speedway – site of Sunday’s Brickyard 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The famed, 2.5-mile oval has been in existence for more than 100 years and has hosted more than 250 races since 1909. For most of its existence, Indianapolis had been an open-wheel series track, but that changed when the Sprint Cup Series first started competing there for the annual Brickyard 400 in 1994. This weekend, the drivers of the NASCAR Nationwide Series will for the first time know the thrill of competing at and crossing the famed yard of bricks with the running of the inaugural Indy 250.

Driver Kurt Busch competed in his very first Brickyard 400 during his rookie season in 2001 and this weekend will be part of the cast competing in the track’s first-ever Nationwide Series race. An avid sports fan himself, the significance of competing at Indianapolis is not lost on the 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion. Having been to Indianapolis as both a competitor and a fan, the driver of the No. 51 Chevrolet understands the importance of being able to compete at the famed track.

Busch has made 11 career starts at Indianapolis and scored his best finish there during his very first Indy start, finishing fifth after starting 34th in 2001. He has scored a total of four top-10 finishes during that 11-year stretch and has been running at the end of all 11 races, aside from one which was the result of an accident during the 2002 race.

While he is still looking for his first career Brickyard 400 win, Busch will have two opportunities to become a victor at Indianapolis this weekend. Busch has scored two wins in Nationwide Series competition this year with victories at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway in May and Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway earlier this month.

The history books of Indianapolis once again will add a new chapter this weekend, and Busch and the No. 51 Phoenix Racing team look to add themselves to the track’s lore and have their names forever linked.


Making his sixth career Sprint Cup start at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, David Ragan will be welcoming back Scorpion Truck Bed Liners to the No. 34 Ford as the primary sponsor. In their first season partnering with Front Row Motorsports, Scorpion will once again be featured at one of the most historic tracks on the circuit.  It is also the company's home track as they are based in near-by Cloverdale, Ind.


Ragan is no stranger to success at the Brickyard, finishing in the top-25 in all five of his previous Sprint Cup Series races including a career best finish of 14th in 2008. Ragan will look to duplicate his qualifying efforts from last year's run at the Brickyard where he won the pole, but looks to improve on his 23rd-place finish from last year.


David Ragan on Indianapolis:


"I am very excited to return to Indy this weekend. I think this is a perfect opportunity to have an excellent run and show people what all we can do. The off week really helped our team by giving us a long window to work on the car and I expect it to be very strong when we finally get to the track."


"As a team we are still getting better each race and we will be able to show it in the second half of the season. Last year winning the pole was a huge accomplishment for me.  It's pretty special to get to start in the front at such a famous track as the Brickyard.  It was an incredible experience. I really hope we can do that again this weekend."


Jay Guy on Indianapolis:


"David has had a lot of success here in Indy early in his career. We feel that as long as we can put him in a good car he can do the rest. This weekend we really want to focus on the little things and make sure that we put him in the best possible position."



Win One for Baby

24 Jul 2012 Written by

There’s no doubt Ryan Newman is riding on a personal high as he rolls into Indianapolis Motor Speedway for this Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Brickyard 400.

Not only has Newman and his Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team scored two consecutive top-10 finishes, Newman welcomed his second daughter, Ashlyn Olivia, on Monday, July 16 at 12:20 p.m. EDT.

After a little more than a week at home with his three girls – wife Krissie and daughters Brooklyn and Ashlyn – Newman is ready to return to the racetrack and take care of business. And the South Bend, Ind., native hopes his own personal bliss can translate into professional elation and success on his home turf at the historic 2.5-mile Indianapolis oval.

For the 11-year Sprint Cup veteran, racing at Indianapolis isn’t significant just because he is a Hoosier. Instead, it’s the history of the 103-year-old Speedway that makes this weekend’s race one of the most important events he competes in each season.

Newman, who prides himself on carefully studying the history of the sport, considers the Indianapolis racetrack to be the cornerstone of the history of auto racing.

So for Newman, it is an honor to simply walk through the Speedway’s Gasoline Alley as he knows he is following in the footsteps of some of his heroes. And he admits he has caught himself thinking about whose tire tracks he could be following as he travels down the long straightaways.

While Newman is fascinated with the history at the Brickyard, his performance at the track has been lackluster.

In his 11 Sprint Cup visits to Indianapolis, Newman has started outside of the top-eight just two times. But while he has made a habit of starting near the front of the Brickyard 400 field, he has not enjoyed the same kind of success when it comes to recording solid finishes in the 160-lap race. Newman has just one top-five at Indianapolis – a fourth-place effort during his 2002 rookie campaign.

Newman wants to turn that stat around. And with his team’s recent top-10 runs, perhaps Newman & Company have the momentum to do just that.

Three weekends ago, Newman finished fifth at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. It was his first top-10 finish at the superspeedway since his win in the 2008 Daytona 500. More importantly, it was the No. 39 team’s first top-10 in more than three months. The following weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, Newman finished 10th.

Currently 14th in points with one win to his credit this season, Newman is one of several drivers involved in a hotly contested battle for one of two wild card spots for the 12-driver Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship. While top-fives and top-10s are good, what Newman would really like is to engineer another win for his No. 39 Quicken Loans team.

And a win at the Brickyard wouldn’t just give Newman his own page of history at the 2.5-mile track, it would also greatly help his team’s quest to make this season’s Chase. Of course, too, it would be difficult to find a better congratulatory baby gift than a big win for this new, second-time dad.


With the final off week of the 2012 Sprint Cup season in the rearview mirror, it's full speed ahead for Travis Kvapil, driver of the No. 93 Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota. Kvapil and his BK Racing crew have their eyes set on this week's Curtiss Shaver 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of the most prestigious and coveted events in motorsports, and they're looking to start the final stretch off with a bang.

This will be BK racing's first time racing at the Brickyard. The team understands that all 43 teams in the garage will pull out all the stops to win and Kvapil sees this as an opportunity to make a statement. He hopes their performance reflects their capabilities and progress since forming in February.

Kvapil has competed at the Brickyard on four occasions. Half of his starts have resulted in top-25 finishes. His best finish (24th place) came in 2010.

Comments from BK Racing Driver Travis Kvapil heading into Indianapolis:

"Obviously it's a great race track with a great history. I remember growing up and watching the Indy 500 and being a fan of Rick Mears and Danny Sullivan and other guys I looked up to. I didn't really get into the open wheel stuff, but I always watched the Indy 500 in May. Being on the stock car side, I never really thought I'd have the chance to make laps around there, so it's pretty cool to be able to race there with the Sprint Cup Series and make laps around the same place that my heroes did.

"This is a great chance for us to make a statement. This is one of the biggest races of the year. For us to go to Indy as a new team and leave with a solid finish, it will show everyone what we're capable of. We've come a long way and I hope this week reflects that.

"It's definitely a unique race track. It's very challenging. It's kind of a rectangular-shaped track with four corners and it's pretty flat. It's a challenge for the teams to get the splitter down as low as they can. On the engine side, it takes a lot of horsepower to get the cars down the long straightaways. You definitely have to have the total package there. It's going to be nice going there after a weekend off. Teams will be prepared. It's just a cool place to go.

"The Brickyard is pretty unique. There aren't many tracks with the characteristics of Indy. Pocono is similar, but only Turn 2. We feel like we learned a lot at Pocono during the open test and during the race weekend. It gave us an opportunity to try some things and get data on the car, which is good moving forward because we can take some things that we learned there and apply it to Indianapolis. We'll probably run a very similar setup even though the tracks are different."

BK Racing PR

Very few venues on the Sprint Cup circuit have the grandeur of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Every driver dreams of becoming a part of the track's hallowed history. Landon Cassill, driver of the No. 83 Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota, is ready to make his mark in this week's Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard. His brief record at the track shows that he can get the job done. He has confidence that his BK racing team is up to the task, but he's willing to take a few chances along the way if necessary.

Cassill has two starts at the Brickyard under his belt. His best finish came last season. He started 32nd and finished 20th. It was one of four top-20 finishes he scored in 2011.

Doug Richert, crew chief of the No. 83 team, has called nine races at the Brickyard. His best finish is sixth place, which he achieved in 2004.

Comments from BK Racing Driver Landon Cassill heading into Indianapolis:

"The Brickyard is such a special place. It's such a prestigious venue. It's really amazing to even compete at that race track.

"Of all the races we have left this season, Indy is at the top of my list for ones that I'd like to win or have our best finish at. It's one that's worth taking a gamble or taking a risk if it can get you a good finish. If we need to take a chance to get our best finish of the season, we'll definitely roll the dice. We'll stretch the fuel mileage as long as possible, or maybe try a two-tire stop if necessary. It's a special track and worth taking the risk.

"I've run well there in the past. I finished in the top 20 there last season. I really think that our Burger King/Dr Pepper team can go there and do that, too.

"There aren't many places we go to that are like Indy. I think that with the size of the track and the banking, Pocono is about as close as it gets to racing there, but it's still pretty unique. Doug (Richert, crew chief) knows how to run well there and knows what to unload with. I think he'll get us started off on the right foot."

BK Racing PR

Big Machine Records and Front Row Motorsports are giving fans of racing and country music alike the chance to win a signed guitar and race-used firesuit through the Racecars and Country Stars Sweepstakes.

Fans can win a David Gilliland race-used firesuit and a guitar signed by Big Machine Label Group recording artists: The Band Perry, Justin Moore, The Mavericks, Greg Bates and Sunny Sweeney. Prior to entering, fans will need to 'like' both Big Machine Label Group and Front Row Motorsports on Facebook.  Fans can earn additional bonus entries by 'liking' the pages of Big Machine recording artists and Front Row Motorsports partners.

Visit to enter and view official rules.  David Gilliland will drive the No. 38 Racecars and Country Stars / Big Machine Records Ford in Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Runner-Up prizes include CD's from Big Machine Label Group recording artists and items autographed by David Gilliland.

The contest will run through August 24th, 2012.  A winner will be announced by September 1st.


Rain-X®, the automotive aftermarket leader in water repellency glass treatments and wiper blades will be primary sponsor of the No. 31 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Burton in this weekend's Brickyard 400 at the historic Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

"My family uses Rain-X® products on all our automobiles at home and we are proud to represent a great product on the No. 31 Chevrolet at a prestigious track like Indianapolis Motor Speedway," said Burton. "Our goal is to get the No. 31 Rain-X® Chevrolet into Victory Lane and to kiss the bricks."

Burton, currently in his 19th full-time season in NASCAR's premier division, has amassed 21 wins, 132 top-five finishes, 246 top-10 finishes, six pole awards and led 6,510 laps during his illustrious career. Burton sits 19th in the 2012 Sprint Cup Series driver championship point standings with four top-10 finishes including a fifth-place finish in the prestigious 2012 Daytona 500 and runner-up finish earlier this month in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway. Burton qualified for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup from 2006-2008 and in 2010 with 13-time NASCAR championship winning car owner Richard Childress.

"RCR, Jeff Burton and Rain-X® share a common commitment to performance and winning and we will be cheering on the No. 31 car on July 29th," says James Stone, General Manager for ITW Global Brands. "Studies show 90% of driving decisions are based solely on vision, and as the most preferred brand of windshield wiper blades and glass care, Rain-X® products help ensure ultimate visibility in any weather condition...on the roads or at the racetrack."

For the past 40 years, drivers have trusted Rain-X® to help them stay one step ahead of Mother Nature on the road. The revolutionary water beading technology in Rain-X® Original Glass Treatment enables raindrops to fly right off the windshield as you drive. In addition to glass treatments, the Rain-X® portfolio offers wiper blades, glass cleaners, car washes, waxes, bug & tar removers, and headlight restoration kits. Rain-X®, owned by ITW Global Brands- a Houston based division of Illinois Tool Works Performance Polymers & Fluids, joins longtime RCR partners Caterpillar, Wheaties and BB&T who serve as primary sponsors for a majority of the races on Burton's No. 31 Chevrolet.


 Furniture Row Racing announced today that Todd Berrier has been named crew chief for the team's No. 78 Chevrolet driven by Regan Smith.

Berrier, who replaces Pete Rondeau, will take over the crew chief duties immediately. His first race on the pit box will be Sunday's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  

In making the announcement team general manager Joe Garone said, "Todd will be a great fit with our operation. The skill sets he has acquired during a successful crew chief career will be valuable assets as we move forward with a high level of energy and anticipation.”

Berrier worked as a Sprint Cup crew chief for 11 years at Richard Childress Racing (RCR) before joining JTG Daugherty Racing and driver Bobby Labonte at the start of the 2012 season.

During his tenure at RCR, Berrier was crew chief for eight victories, including two of NASCAR's biggest events, the Daytona 500 (2007 with Kevin Harvick) and the Brickyard 400 (2003 also with Harvick).

Berrier directed Harvick's Chase playoff appearances in 2006, 2007 and 2008. Along with serving as Harvick's crew chief, Berrier also worked in the same capacity with RCR drivers Jeff Burton, Casey Mears and Jeff Green.

"Furniture Row Racing has a reputation in the Sprint Cup garage for its commitment and potential," said the 42-year-old Berrier. "I welcome this opportunity and can't wait to begin my new position at Indianapolis this weekend."


Approaching the Indianapolis Motor Speedway race weekend, JTG Daugherty Racing announced today significant changes that include a new general manager and crew chief change for the No. 47 single-car NASCAR Sprint Cup Series operation.  

Bobby Hutchens joins the racing organization as general manager.

“Bobby Hutchens is someone I have admired for a long time and the individual I’ve turned to many times for direction over my 18 years as a car owner,” said JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter. “In my opinion, he is the best in the business and we are fortunate to have someone of his caliber step in to help steer our team in the right direction during this important transition.”

David Hyder will assume the role as interim crew chief for this weekend’s race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

“We have our eye on the crew chief that we want for the long term, but couldn’t get it all done in time for the next few races,” Geschickter said. “We would rather make the right decision for the long term. We are fortunate to have David Hyder working at JTG Daugherty Racing every day as crew chief for the K&N Pro Series East team that we have been preparing each week for Cale Conley.  He has a wealth of Sprint Cup experience and we know he will do a great job until we make our decision.”

Todd Berrier, who joined JTG Daugherty Racing at the end of the 2011 season as crew chief and general manager, recently accepted a position with another team that was announced today. Co-owner Brad Daugherty stated that the departure will not deter the team from reaching its goals.

“Todd Berrier did a great job and we wish him the best in his new opportunity,” Daugherty said. “We have great people throughout the organization and with the leadership of a champion like Bobby Hutchens we will stay focused on being the number one single-car team competing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit.”

This season, Labonte’s best finish in 19 starts is 10th at Daytona International Speedway in the Coke Zero 400 powered by Coca-Cola. Following the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, the 2000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion is 23rd in the official driver standings. In the midst of the season, Labonte and his team embrace the changes.

“Like Tad mentioned, Hyder has been in our race shop all year with the K&N Pro Series East team and he knows all the guys and some of them have worked on his cars,” Labonte said. “The fact that he already knows everyone and has experience in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, makes him a great choice to help us in our transition.

“Bobby Hutchens is very knowledgeable and experienced,” Labonte continued. “He has a want and desire to do this, which will really help our small team become more structured so that we can keep moving forward. This is going to be a great advantage for us.”

Labonte’s team is prepared for the Brickyard this weekend as they display SCOTT Products on the hood of the No. 47 Toyota Camry. In 18 starts at the Brickyard, Labonte has one win (8/05/2000), four top five, five top 10 and has led 30 laps. His best start is 3rd (2000) and he holds the race record (155.912 mph on 08/05/2000).

“I think it’s going to be a little different this time around because it is the first time the NASCAR Nationwide Series cars are on the track,” Labonte said. “Normally, the track usually tightens up throughout race. This track is fun and challenging. It can be a hard track to pass on. Therefore, track position is going to be the key. I love going there. The year I won there with Joe Gibbs Racing, we were on a roll. We had everything going for us. After it was all said and done, not many guys can say they’ve won there. It’s just an awesome feeling. At the end of the day reflecting back, we won the Brickyard and the championship in the same year. It’s a neat feather in your cap. I’m looking forward to being back and racing there this weekend.”


The Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, one of the premier events in NASCAR, will be the launching point for ESPN’s live, flag-to-flag telecasts of the final 17 races of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season on Sunday, July 29.

ESPN’s multimedia platforms will surround the race telecasts on television, radio, online and on mobile devices. Of the 17 races, 14 will air on ESPN and WatchESPN and three Saturday night events will air on ABC, and ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will follow the 14 ESPN race telecasts with additional post-race interviews, highlights and information.

Beginning Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway, the final 10 races will comprise the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR’s playoffs, culminating Nov. 18 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with the crowning of the series champion.

For the 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ESPN will again utilize NASCAR NonStop, a split-screen commercial format that brings more racing action to viewers. The format, which ESPN used for the first time in 2011, shows the advertisement on the left side of the screen and a continuation of racing action on the right side. ESPN’s scoring ticker continues to move across the top of the screen, allowing NASCAR fans to follow the running order of the race during the breaks. NASCAR NonStop takes effect at or near the halfway point of the race, with the first half of the race presented in the traditional commercial break format.

The race telecast from Indianapolis is presented by Golden Corral and follows the one-hour NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at noon, with the race’s green flag at 1:19 p.m. ET. Also from Indianapolis, ESPN will televise the inaugural race at the famed track for the NASCAR Nationwide Series on Saturday, July 28, with NASCAR Countdown at 4 p.m. and the green flag at 4:49 p.m. NASCAR Sprint Cup qualifying for the Brickyard 400 airs earlier that day at 2 p.m. on ESPN, with NASCAR Sprint Cup practice at 10:30 a.m. on ESPN2.

The winner of the Brickyard 400 will visit ESPN’s Bristol, Ct., studios on Tuesday, July 31, to appear on multiple ESPN programs and platforms.

ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage team will include four former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions, led by analyst Dale Jarrett, the 1999 driving champion, who will work with two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree and lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick in the booth. Rusty Wallace, the 1989 driving champion, and three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham will be analysts for NASCAR Countdown with host Nicole Briscoe and analyst Brad Daugherty, a NASCAR team owner.

Pit reporters during ESPN’s 17-race NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage will be Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Mike Massaro, Dr. Jerry Punch, Shannon Spake and Vince Welch while Marty Reid will be the lap-by-lap announcer for the remainder of ESPN’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race telecasts beginning with Indianapolis.

ESPN will use 74 high definition cameras in the Brickyard 400 telecast, including a new, Ultra Slo Mo handheld camera for analyzing pit stops. Bat Cam, a camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph, also will be utilized again at IMS. ESPN will have a helicopter camera for all 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup race telecasts.

Last year at Indianapolis, ESPN introduced the first-ever use of dual path transmission for onboard cameras, allowing the network for the first time to show two high definition views from onboard cameras in the same car simultaneously. The technology has been refined and is being expanded into ESPN’s NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts starting at Indianapolis.

The NASCAR Countdown show for the Brickyard 400 will have a different look as it will move from the ESPN Pit Studio to a set located on an outside floor of the speedway’s iconic Pagoda. The grandstands, track and pits will provide a backdrop during the program.

Among the features that are planned for airing during ESPN’s Indianapolis telecasts:

  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his crew chief Steve Letarte sit down together with ESPN’s Marty Smith to discuss the evolution of their relationship, how Earnhardt has changed as a driver since they joined forces this season and why their team is finally firing on all cylinders.
  • ABC News journalist Katie Couric talks with Danica Patrick at Indianapolis Motor Speedway about her transition to NASCAR, how people perceive her as a person and possible sexism she might face on a daily basis at the racetrack.
  • Jeff Gordon reunites with his former championship winning crew chief Ray Evernham to talk about his struggles in 2012 and if success for him is lurking at the Brickyard, a place where he has won four times in his career.
  • Last year’s Brickyard 400 is relived through the eyes of race winner Paul Menard and his father, John. Collectively they tell the story of how emotional and meaningful the victory was to the Menard Family.